Sannel Larson

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tea - How To Make the Perfect Brew

" Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden " ~ George Orwell ( 1903-1950) ~

photo by Sannel

The British Writer George Orwell, was quite passionate how his favorite drink was brewed, and in 1946, he wrote down his eleven golden rules, how to make a perfect "nice cup of tea" .

I believe we tea lovers all around the world are quite passionate about the particular methods we use for making our "cuppa", and we are more or less like Mr. Orwell when it comes to brewing a nice cup of tea. I think we all have our own special "golden" rules! However, here are some guidelines:

Photo by Sannel

How to brew your tea:

1. Use freshly drawn water. When water is re-boiled, or stands for a while, it loses oxygen which prevents the full flavor of the tea being released.

2. Warming the cup first. This helps the brewing process by maintaining the brewing temperature, and extract more flavor from the tea.

3. Put approximately 2 grams or 1 tsp. of tea leaves per 6-8 oz of water in a strainer, tea basket or tea ball into your preheated pot or cup. Do not use tea strainers that are to small. It's important that the tea leaves have room to expand during the brewing process, to release their flavor.

4. Be sure that the water comes to a full boil, otherwise it does not allow the tea to brew properly. Do not boil the water for a long period of time because this will deplete the water of oxygen.

5. Then add hot water accordingly to the chart below for the type of tea you are brewing. The water temperature does not have to be exact. The main thing to remember is to not use boiling water for green or white teas. It will "cook" the leaves and destroy the tea and its flavor, creating a bitter tasting tea.

6. Stir the tea in the pot or cup once or twice while its brewing.

7. Remove the tea leaves out of the infusion. The amount of time that the tea steeps will determine its strength. Check the chart below for the tea type you are brewing. These steeping times are only approximate, and you should adjust them depending on your own personal tea taste.

8. If you do not have a thermometer handy, you can tell the water temperature by watching the bubbles. Small bubbles will float to the surface of the water at 160-170 F ( 75-80C), and you will see string of bubbles from the bottom of the kettle at 180-190 F ( 85-90C). After that you will have a full boil at 200-212 F ( 95-100C).

Another tip: Bring the water to a rolling boil, then wait 30 seconds for white tea and 60 seconds for green tea, before pouring the water over the leaves.

9. Serve the tea plain, or if you prefer with honey or sugar and/or milk.

This is only a guideline. it's a matter of personal choice and preference, and besides who can tell you, how you like your tea better than you!

Enjoy your cup of "nice" tea.

65-70 C ( 149-158 F)
1-2 min
75-80 C ( 167-176 F)
1-2 min
80-85 C ( 176-185 F)
2-3 min
99 C ( 210 F)
2-3 min
95-100C ( 203- 212 F)
99 C ( 210 F )
5-8 min

Photo by Sannel


All tea has a shelf life. Black tea has longer shelf life than green tea. An exception, pu-erh tea improves with age. To preserve its freshness as long as possible, tea should be stored in a cool, dark and dry place, in a container that is airtight. Avoid glass jars, as this may expose the tea to light. An airtight opaque tin is best
Tea absorbs other odors very easily, so its very important to store your tea away from any strong smelling foods. Do not refrigerate or freeze teas.

Photo by Sannel

I'm glad you could join me and share a nice cup of tea with me. Thank you for your lovely visit! 



  1. OK, how do you know all this?! Did you get a degree in tea brewing or something? Maybe this is why I don't drink tea more often. There's just too much to doing it right! Of course, I'm only kidding and I have been trying to drink more tea after your example, especially chamomile tea before bed. It really does help me sleep.

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom you've gained over years as a tea drinker. This post will help shorten the learning curve for the rest of us. BTW, I enjoy your easy going, concise writing style. It's like you're talking with your readers. Very nice. Keep up the good work, my friend!

  2. Ha, how did you figure out that I have a Bachelor Degree in Tea Brewing? Lol! No serious Rick, it's nothing to it. Please don't let this stop you from making a cup of tea. As long as you follow my guidelines, you can't go wrong. Yes, I'm glad you have followed my advice by drinking chamomile tea before bedtime. It does help to relax you and make you fall asleep faster!

    Thank you for your kind and witty comment, my friend. Please, stop by again real soon so I can put on the kettle and show off my academic degree, how to make you a nice cup of tea, lol!

    Take care, my dear friend!

  3. This is a favorite for me. With my bad memory I can dash here and reread it when I need a fresh cup of Mountain Greek Tea. I found some at a place called Traders Joes. Reminds me of a market on a dock with boats and all.

    Thank you for bringing new life is the article. A very fine choice indeed . . .


  4. Mitch, thank you for your visit and sharing your kind words with me. Greek Mountain Tea is my favorite herbal tea. I drink it all the time. I will write about this tea some day, so keep an eye out.

  5. Hmmmm . . . I see as if an Osprey, yet know the code too, whimsical like a knot, celtic, maybe . . . I see Thursday a story of well, yet not of deep, no mule here, stubborn or not - giggle, I say from the Hall of SessrĂșmnir a little of this shared, became oh so much more.

    By the wings of an Osprey carried to a Northern land, a read will be offered, a nod of the student to the Teacher, no mystery of a mistress for this lad. Then, off to the land of words and letters of this and that and path to the heavens nearby.

    For now a dunk and no shave, donuts not, a spray of this or that, green too . . .


  6. Mitch - I know I should have had that second cup of coffee this morning. . .


Your lovely comments are my reward.
Thank you !